Monday, May 9, 2011

The sun rises. The clown dances. The lady gets hit in the head with a shoe.

It was recently pointed out to me that I am not the beautiful dancer I thought I was. This was on a particularly drunken night fairly recently in which I thought I was a fucking ballerina, and therefore very light on my feet. Mr. Hed told me that otherwise, I was doing mostly OK, and didn't embarrass him until I started dancing. Yeah. OK. I probably shouldn't do that around... people.

At all. Ever.

Or... at least not while drunk, when I think I am invincible, awesome, lovable, amazing, and gifted in ways I am not normally.

When I am on my game, I am competent, and will learn steps adequately. I do have rhythm because I did grow up in a pretty musical setting. But I did not grow up dancing. The muscle memory is something that I only acquire after many, many practices of a new dance move as a result. This is due to the fact that I really only had to do it for the stage when I was in musicals. I remember those specific dances very well, because they were drilled into my brain via laser beam that can only be produced when a choreographer loses patience and... resorts to this last ditch effort attempt of instruction. It is rare, but I... have seen it a lot.

Anyway, it is true that I had no dance instruction as a wee little child. By the time I decided to embarrass myself and everyone I knew personally who came to see me on stage in a musical, I wasn't a kid anymore. In fact, remembering the first musical I was in; the laser beam didn't take. The director did not want to re-cast the part, so this poor sod was stuck with me. He had to (then,) adapt the steps he had written for one of the numbers I did solo, because they were so complicated, it just wasn't going to happen. But, during that play, I began to understand the importance of using more than just the bottoms of my feet, or... just my feet. Yes. Even our wrists, fingertips, eyebrows, and uvulae should really be involved. That went a long way.

Obviously, I am still not a beautiful dancer, but it is my exercise of choice. I do it because it is a challenge, and is also fun. I do it because... as I said in the paragraph above, it really does involve every part of the body. I just do it when no one is watching, because... after all, doesn't that mean I can dance like no one is watching? Why yes! I believe it does! Although... when Mr. Hed walks in on me, I completely lose my concentration and have to wait for him to leave in order to get it back.

Seriously though, and in general; not just in my dance-life, I have some facts to face here. I can be pretty clumsy. I can be pretty awkward. I embarrass easily, and often. I have a bit of social anxiety that I am working to correct, but it's difficult, and the process hasn't been perfect; especially considering all I have had to overcome and the trauma I endured growing up. I will say though, that things are a whole lot worse when I am sleep-deprived, hungry, or feeling like a dork in a new setting. But once I have rested, eaten, and gotten to know my environment, it lessens, and I am actually a pretty fun person to be around, or so I'm told.

Thank GOD.

We all have good and bad days. I am learning that on my bad days, I should stay in my safe little world, and be glad I have one of those. I am having fewer bad days, but I still have them on occasion. They are usually triggered by something situational, and can be explained away. I don't always like to acknowledge the source of that, and I may choose not to... at least not outwardly. After all, some things are simply better left unshared with everyone else. Some things need time to process, and a chance for observation via more than one angle. And isn't it true that you should never make big decisions or try to evaluate your life when you feel like crap? It certainly has been for me. So... I do my best to not take things quite so seriously during those times, and my world gets a wee bit smaller for a day or two. I may or may not return your phone calls or texts. I can only hope the people around me understand this.

Eventually, I do come around. Really, I do.

And still... dancing, clumsiness, and even bad days aside, I have had a few incidents recently in which I have said things to people that didn't come out right. Sometimes I come off as downright insensitive, which is terrible, and not something I would ever intentionally convey to another human being. When it happens, I usually end up (metaphorically) slapping my forehead, and I experience what feels almost akin to electrocution go through my body, because I know this is not at all what I had wanted, or meant to say.

I especially hate it when whatever it is ends up misrepresenting me horribly and I go into fight-or-flight... and can't recover. I wish I could say that I am good at hiding my embarrassment. Sadly? No. No, I'm not. Not even a little bit. I blush, my temperature rises, and then I basically need a few minutes to regroup, and explain. There are times when I can pull myself out of it quickly though, and I do have a somewhat quasi-effective recovery method that I will put to use about half the time when something like this occurs. I resort to poking fun at myself, and turning the incident into a joke, because seriously, what else can you do at that point? And of course I do try to measure appropriateness here. I am obviously not going to make a joke if I just inadvertently insulted your mother, but I will do it if I just sent my shoe flying across the room... or a pair of chopsticks. (Sadly, both of these things have happened in the past week... and I have listed them in order of embarrassment.)


That said, these moments of awkward are not something that would ever make me stop liking myself, so why should I think that anyone else would necessarily? Don't we all have bonehead moments? I know we must. It should also be known that this does not mean every joke at my own expense has to do with one of these awkward incidents. Sometimes I just make jokes. It's OK to laugh at those jokes. Laughter is pretty welcome in either instance; especially if I am trying to diffuse a moment of epic dorkdom. I wouldn't have made them if I had any other intention. I can relate to Woody Allen. If he can base a career on that sort of demeanor, I should probably cut myself a little slack.

Yes. I'm trying. Trying to develop patience with myself. Trying to nurture that scared little dork inside of my soul so that she will someday be less scared and dorky. It's not easy, but at least I'm trying. If you were around me recently during one of moments of awkward, I apologize. It will be better soon. I can only hope you people don't think I'm a moron, but if you do, I suppose there isn't much I can do about it. There isn't much anyone can do about another person's opinion, so... I have to let it go, and laugh at myself.

As far as the dancing? I'll just keep doing it. Alone. I like it, and that's what matters. If you decide I can't be your friend because I'm not a beautiful dancer, then piss off!



  1. When we move there, there is an ecstatic dance group that is both family friendly and happens at I think 11 AM on Sundays. I plan on dragging my family with me to go. Want to join us? If you're not familiar, it is so not about looking good, just abut moving to the music and allowing one's self to be free. I've been to exactly ONE class like this with a friend and I was hooked - though unable to get to one here, being as they're all an hour away in the city. So I've already got myself ready for the one there.

  2. Yeah, there is one I have a standing invite to on Wednesday nights. It's hard to plan for, since for some reason WTF are consistently busy nights for me, but I think I may scout it out this week finally, since I have no plans until Th.

  3. LOL I just realized what I wrote there. Ha ha!